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Protesters hold signs showing their opposition to the 241 extension at a San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting in June. Photo: Andrea Swayne
Protesters hold signs showing their opposition to the 241 extension at a San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting in June. Photo: Andrea Swayne

George Brody, San Clemente

A couple of weeks ago the Transportation Corridor Agencies, after two decades of trying, finally capitulated on trying to get approval for the extension of the 241 toll road.

As it was reported in the Dana Point Times, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn from the Surfrider Foundation was very happy about her participation in defeating the TCA effort.

So, we, the residents of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, and towns further north, should thank Stefanie for condemning us to become prisoners in our homes on weekends. The already heavy traffic in both directions of Interstate 5 becomes really congested on Saturdays and Sundays.

For example, a trip from San Clemente to San Diego may easily take two hours or more if there is a traffic accident. We all remember the accident last month when vehicles in both directions were trapped on I-5 for more than four hours. I presume Stefanie was not involved in that.

In fact I wonder if Stefanie ever uses the I-5 in our area. Does she even live here?

Several years ago, the TCA made several open-forum presentations explaining to the public what the plans were and the reasons for needing the extension connecting the 241 to the I-5 south of San Clemente.

It would not increase the traffic in the surfing beach areas. It would not have interfered with any surfing activities. In fact it was going to provide collection basins that would prevent dirty water from washing into the ocean. Only clean water would go into the ocean.

At one of those meetings, the Surfrider Foundation and the Audobon Society, who was concerned about interfering with the pocket mouse in the area, bussed a large number of their members all the way from New Mexico and Arizona to protest against the TCA.

And protest they did—vocally and rowdily. They interrupted with whistles and cat-calls those speakers who wanted to present viewpoints in favor of the 241 extension. They would not let them talk. For their participation they got T-shirts saying “Save Trestles.”

After this disappointing meeting, I approached a couple of young men wearing these T-shirts and asked them why they thought the 241 extension would harm Trestles. They replied, “What is Trestles?”

Stefanie: You are cordially invited to participate in one of our I-5 traffic jams and to enjoy the problem you helped to create.

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (5)

  • The Toll Road has become a wonderful fundraiser for Surfrider. Great article!

  • I am local resident and use I-5 daily, I do not want another toll road or any big new road crisscrossing last remaining open space in south county. I and every other local resident, who mostly oppose the new freeway, certainly have skin in the game, after all we live here for the open space and the beautiful environment.

    Additional roads/lanes create traffic, they never reduce it. With every additional road, more sprawl is built, its time to focus development to existing areas, infill existing business and industrial area, add residences above retail etc.
    ENOUGH OF OC IS PAVED as it is, there is no need to add any further pavement to south county.

    • Our family agrees with Dana Pointer. His points are well taken. There will be no traffic benefit worth the continued loss of open space that will occur if the Toll Road is built. Every major artery will mean more sprawl. We want to keep what is left of our beautiful region in its current state. We need community development plans that respect open space and seek to preserve it.

  • I will agree with George on one point only. There is too much traffic from San Juan thru San Clemente in both directions. God forbid if there is an accident.

    However, George has only one solution. Extend the 241. Ok, let’s assume this was done. Now you have a road that goes along the foothills thru the canyons and merges back to the 5 in front of Trestles. More open space has been gobbled up, the potential for pollution has increased, a classic surf break and open beach has been impacted and most importantly, now a very large area of real estate has been opened up to developers. Surely, no one thinks for an instant that all this open space off the new toll road won’t be called fair game for new housing and other development. And guess what happens with all the new residents and business. That’s right folks, MORE TRAFFIC!

    How about stopping just for a minute to consider the reason WHY there is so much traffic. Could it be the massive population increase in California that has just been published in the news? What is the source of this increase? Where are these people all going, either North or Southbound? Other than accidents, what is causing the slowdowns thru SC? Does anyone think this toll road extension is going to lessen traffic? Of course it won’t. Be realistic. Who in their right mind is going to detour off the 5 freeway, up the 133 over to the 241 and then down thru South San Clemente. What happens when an accident occurs North or South of the proposed merge of the 241 to the 5? Massive gridlock. So now everyone in South Orange County is ticked off.

    I know it’s a stretch for some, but instead of continually building toll roads that can never pay for themselves and which continually up new areas for developers to squander at our collective expense, why not build a modern and efficient Mass Transit Rail system? Light Rail (not Amtrak) built down the center of the freeways would benefit everyone. By doing so, you open up jobs, save what little space we have left, make commutes enjoyable and overall, do the right thing. Everyone benefits from Mass Transit. BART and Caltrain in the Bay Area are great examples. You can fly into SFO or Oakland, jump on BART and go right into the heart of the City. Why are we continuing to argue this in Southern California? Think about how great it would be to jump on a BART-like system straight into Orange County Airport.

    The pro-toll road initiative has lost several times. They need to suck it up and put their energy on an alternate project like Mass Transit.

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